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Key warns over polls as survey shows Nats' lead widening

Prime Minister John Key is warning about over-confidence as yet another poll shows his party with a big lead over Labour.

Mr Key warned on Breakfast this morning that his party was in an even stronger poll position before the 2011 election, where National got 47.31% of the vote to the Labour-Green-NZ First bloc's 45.13%

"If you look at the polls back in 2011, actually we were very slightly ahead of that if you look at all of the polls overall

A OneNews-Colmar Brunton poll released last night (top right) showed National up 2 points to 52%, Labour falling 1 to 28%, the Greens down 2 to 10% and NZ First on 4%. All other parties were within the margin of error. 

In the preferred PM stakes, Mr Key was up 1 to 48%, Labour leader David Cunliffe down 2% to 8%.

All of the major polls exaggerated National's lead in the build-up to the 2011 election (including the final Fairfax poll, which had the party on 54%), while three of the big polls underestimated Labour (including Roy Morgan, whose final poll put the party on 23%). NZ First support was also underestimated in half the surveys.

Mr Key seemed to rule out a deal for the Conservatives during his Breakfast interview, saying, "In the end there are many candidates who go out there and say look ‘It’s two ticks blue’ and that’s great if they want to do that. But there may be  a few electorates like Ohariu and Epsom where they may say it makes sense go give a bit of support to ACT or United to just get them over the line

He conspicuously left out East Coast Bays, and when this was pointed out replied, "We’re certainly going to run a candidate there which is Murray McCully of course."

Mr Key said he'll give more guidance on whom National will have an MMP "accommodation" with, or not, at his post-cabinet press conference around 4pm today.

National's list, released over the weekend, strongly pointed to Epsom and Ohariu deals to shore up ACT and UnitedFuture's sole MPs.

National's Ohariu candidate Brett Hudson, at 39 on the list, was the highest-ranked non-MP, and ahead of incumbents including Maggie Barry, Ian McKelvie and Mark Mitchell.

The party's dupe candidate in Epsom, Paul Goldsmith, was promoted from 39 to 30.

National's inhouse polling is said to have shown a deal with Colin Craig would cost the party 2% to 3% of its list vote as socially liberal supporters defect. The Conservatives are currently polling around 1% to 2%, not enough to offset National's potential hit.

Click to zoom. Source: Colmar Brunton

RAW DATA: National's full list
  • John Key Helensville
  • Bill English List
  • David Carter List
  • Gerry Brownlee Ilam
  • Steven Joyce List
  • Judith Collins Papakura
  • Hekia Parata Mana
  • Chris Finlayson Rongotai
  • Paula Bennett Upper Harbour
  • Jonathan Coleman Northcote
  • Murray McCully East Coast Bays
  • Anne Tolley East Coast
  • Nick Smith Nelson
  • Tim Groser New Lynn
  • Amy Adams Selwyn
  • Nathan Guy Otaki
  • Craig Foss Tukituki
  • Simon Bridges Tauranga
  • Nikki Kaye Auckland Central
  • Michael Woodhouse Dunedin North
  • Jo Goodhew Rangitata
  • Chester Borrows Whanganui
  • Todd McClay Rotorua
  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga Maungakiekie
  • Nicky Wagner Christchurch Central
  • Lindsay Tisch Waikato
  • Louise Upston Taupo
  • Tim Macindoe Hamilton West
  • Jami-Lee Ross Botany
  • Paul Goldsmith Epsom
  • Melissa Lee Mt Albert
  • Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi Manukau East
  • Jian Yang List
  • Alfred Ngaro Te Atatu
  • Maurice Williamson Pakuranga
  • Jacqui Dean Waitaki
  • David Bennett Hamilton East
  • Jonathan Young New Plymouth
  • Brett Hudson Ohariu
  • Maggie Barry North Shore
  • Ian McKelvie Rangitikei
  • Mark Mitchell Rodney
  • Simon O'Connor Tamaki
  • Mike Sabin Northland
  • Scott Simpson Coromandel
  • Paul Foster-Bell Wellington Central
  • Joanne Hayes Christchurch East
  • Parmjeet Parmar Mt Roskill
  • Chris Bishop Hutt South
  • Nuk Korako Port Hills
  • Jono Naylor Palmerston North
  • Maureen Pugh West Coast - Tasman
  • Misa Fia Turner Mangere
  • Todd Barclay Clutha-Southland
  • Andrew Bayly Hunua
  • Matt Doocey Waimakariri
  • Sarah Dowie Invercargill
  • Barbara Kuriger Taranaki-King Country
  • Todd Muller Bay of Plenty
  • Shane Reti Whangarei
  • Alastair Scott Wairarapa
  • Stuart Smith Kaikoura
  • Wayne Walford Napier
  • Simeon Brown Manurewa
  • Hamish Walker Dunedin South
  • Lewis Holden Rimutaka
  • Karl Varley Wigram
  • Candidate TBA Kelston
  • Linda Cooper List
  • Letitia O'Dwyer List
  • Mark Bridges List
  • Boris Sokratov List
  • Matthew Evetts List
  • Carolyn O'Fallon List
  • Christopher Penk List


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Comments and questions

Why do journalists insist on saying parties with low support are polling within the margin of error? The margin of error for party polling 1% is clearly not the +/- 3.1 percentage points quoted for the poll as a whole! That would mean the 1% party could have no support or negative support -which defies all logic!

Correct. The error for a 1% poll would be about 0.6%. The 3.1% error is only for a 50% poll.

The definition is more on the lines of :- "There's a 3.1% chance that the results are NOT within 95% of the true state of affairs. For example, the above states National is at 52%; if there were 1,000 voters sampled, all that can truthfully be said is that 520 NZ voters said they would vote National. It is POSSIBLE that no one else will vote National - just as it is POSSIBLE that I'll win Lotto three months running. But they are both highly unlikely.

Thanks for the list NBR. I want a strong National Government after the election, but this list shows the very high Nat poll will bring in some very light weight bods and we know all about how they behave when they perceive their time at the trough is only 'til the next election. They are a real headache for any party. So, it seems I must split my vote. Any suggestions?

If you want a strong National govt. then party vote National. If you are in Epsom vote the Act candidate with your electorate vote or Dunne if in Oharia Belmont. Although I doubt if a party vote for Act would be a waste. I imagine National will be more careful with those candidates lower on the list this time, but whoever they will be preferable to many of the alternative should the unthinkable happen and Labour/Greens/internet-mana can form a coaltion..

To prevent bringing in "some very light weight bods" on National's list, give ACT your party vote - you'll then get the heavy-weights on the top of ACT's list, not those "light weight bods" on the bottom of National's.

Agreed. Call it Aaron Gilmore Syndrome.

If you party vote National you risk getting one or two drongos somewhere on the list. If you party vote any other party at all, even National's likely coalition partners, you run the risk of having a large number of drongos with Cunliffe trying to hold them all together.

Not impressed about the smacking legislation happy to vote on it.

If you vote National again,you'll be supporting a thoroughly undemocratic, I-want-my-own-way politician who overrules his own cabinet to effect what he wants upon the country.

By now we should have taken on the warning about how dangerous charisma is - and that the combination of smarm and charm does not guarantee politics of principle...but, historically, the misuse of power by thoroughly determined individuals.

Heaven knows Labour is a basket case. The Greens are- well - the Greens - and we are all becoming tenants in our own country.

It's been said quite rightly, that Winston Peters is our last line of defence...and all the bombast in the world doesn't contradict this.

National has just become another labour party so voting ACT is effectively voting for what National used to be.

NZ needs some dynamic changes and that will never come from John Key.

The only thing we know about this election, is politicians will do virtually anything to keep or get power.

What we do know is this countries finances are in a perilous state, and that the government is not making hard decisions to keep core functions running sustainably in their current form.

There are two alternatives; either raise taxes or reduce expenditure. I personally favour a balanced appropriate, which should/could include:

1. Land tax on property, excluding the family home.
2. Capital gains tax on the sale of businesses.
3. Collecting tax from those that channel some of their cost structure through overseas tax havens.
4. Progressively increase the minimum wages, to a living wage. This may take 5 to 10 years; giving sufficient time for businesses to adapt.
5. Abolish working for families, and increasing the minimum wage to living wage will do this.
6. Get prisoners to do hard labour, including create more public walkways through conservation land, developing more cycle ways and waterway protection. This will provide them with work skills, give them a sense of propose in life and reduce their cost burden on wider society.
7. Scrap the pay of all politicians. Too many are career professions, that add no value at all. Give them super, depending on their performance using long term Key Performance Measures; like the rest of us.

While there are plenty more initiatives one could take, the implementation of those identified (all at once) will generate wealth for all.

Wishful thinking, when you are up against the establishment who see things differently and those that are short term focused and cant think for themselves or their grandchildren.